You think?  I was trying to come up with some clever analogy to start this article.  Something like, saying you've got a contract is like saying you've got a car.  No description or clue what's in the contract or what type of car you have.  But there's a significant distinction that actually better emphasizes the importance of this issue.  Pretty much whatever car you have you're going to get from A to B.  That's simply not the case with the contract.
    An agreement is a compilation of words.  When judges are presented with contracts that require reading, interpretation and enforcement, it's the words they look at.  Sometimes every one of them.  
    Alarm contracts are worded differently for different reasons.  Sometimes the alarm company wants certain verbiage for various reasons, including marketing issues, constraints on the length of the document, or [my favorite] because they decide to create a document on their own and combine and mix whatever they can get their hands on.  Lawyers too like to make changes, especially if the alarm company presents a form and asks the lawyer to come up with a new one.  Can't charge too much or have pride of authorship by just saying, use it the way it's drafted.  In fact, just about every sentence can be changed to reflect the style of the attorney author.  
    But after all, this isn't rocket science or brain surgery.  Surely there must be more than one way to draft an alarm contract.  If it's good enough for ADT it's good enough for me.  If it's good enough for my competitor then I may as well use that form if I can get it for free.  And if some lawyer owes you a favor, why not get it from him or her.  
    Problem is, the alarm contract is drafted with precision; finely tuned and constantly evolving and updating.  It's not your job to keep up with what's needed.  All you need to know is that things change and you have to change too.  That means more than your contracts.  More than likely you are trying to keep pace with evolving and emerging technology and different ways to improve your business.  Don't forget that your business is your contracts.  Probably should change them as often as you change the oil in your car.  You should keep in mind that almost without exception when the alarm contract is under scrutiny because the subscriber is complaining that it's not clear or not enforceable, you should assume the Judge is starting his analysis with "how can I not enforce this contract".  Don't give the Judge something to hang his hat on and at the same time hang your company.
    For updated versions of our Standard Form Agreements, featuring the All in One forms, visit www.alarmcontracts.com.  What are you waiting for?
    We've identified about 18 states that require an alarm license to monitor alarm accounts.  If you're contracting to monitor or actually monitoring, you need the license.  If you're coming into the state for sales or installation, then you're going to need more licenses.  And these are only the statewide licenses.  There are many municipal licenses and registrations.  
    I was recently asked by one alarm person who wanted to monitor just a few accounts in a few jurisdictions that required a license if he could get away without having a license in those jurisdictions.  I explained the above.  Didn't seem to sink in.  So I put it this way.  Say your driver's license was good only in Indiana, would you take the chance to drive to Michigan?  I told him to drive within the speed limits and keep his head down. [just thought I should have used a gun license analogy].